There are times in our lives when we do good things simply because it’s right to do them.
Turn back the clock to a time when the next season of drag racing was
just around the corner. Evan Knoll, ensconced in a gliding chair,
mulled over the various possible ways in which Melanie Troxel’s new
dragster could be used to benefit various charities. Somewhere around 3
am, it came to us, Knoll and myself, how we could both help and honor a
huge group of people who in a time long past felt more spit upon than
An elaborate plan of featuring various charities was replaced with a
plan to honor war veterans, especially the Vietnam veterans, because in
our minds, they’d had to stand at the back of the honor line for far too
long. We wanted to include the National League of POW-MIA Families
because unfortunately, we’ve still got over 1,700 servicemen
unaccounted and missing despite the war being over for 35 years.
Our focus decided I would place the first call to driver Melanie Troxel
informing her of the game plan. Her response sounded as if she was
confused. “Okaaaay,” she responded, adding that she would immerse
himself in project having no real connection to the Vietnam War
herself. Troxel was still a young impressionable child at the time the
conflict came to a close.